A blog post

The banality of evil

Posted on the 09 February, 2020 at 12:56 am Written by in Books

At last, very delayed, I have read this 60s classic:


I am embarassed, I should have read it long before, this is glittering analysis, a beacon of a book, everyone should read it, its a true classic of the 60ies.

What does it say, more exactly?

Eichmann did not start out as a killer. On the contrary, his job was to “export” Jews – to somewhere. He got clever at this, threatening and pushing Jewish councils, so they cooperated, and paid much of the price for the “export”. At the start, the end of the export was some other place. Later, it meant death. Eichmann claimed he did not know. He was only the master of the trains and transportation, shipping out Jews, to “somewhere”. His main worry was that the Nazi hierarchy didn’t recognize his effort, to get this whole system going, based on his former recruitment of Jewish participation to the migration deals. The bigger bullies in the Nazi chain of command did not fully recognize his manly efforts! This was what most worried Eichmann, even as he sent millions of Jews to the death camps.  This is the “banality” that Arendt describes so well.